How Mary Earps melted hearts with Best FIFA acceptance speech

Jamie Spencer
Mary Earps looked shocked to be named Best FIFA Women's Goalkeeper
Mary Earps looked shocked to be named Best FIFA Women's Goalkeeper / Eurasia Sport Images/GettyImages

Manchester United and England goalkeeper Mary Earps gave a heartfelt speech upon receiving her Best FIFA Women’s Goalkeeper award, dedicating it to ‘anyone who has ever been in a dark place’ after taking her career to incredible new levels.

Earps finished ahead of 2021 winner Christiane Endler and Chelsea stopper Ann-Katrin Berger in the final standings, having been a huge part of Manchester United’s growth over the last 18 months and a as England swept to victory at Euro 2022 during the summer.

The 29-year-old has openly admitted that she thought her international career was ‘probably’ over until being recalled to the England setup by Sarina Wiegman in 2021 – having been England’s third choice goalkeeper at the 2019 World Cup, Earps didn’t play for the Lionesses again for two years.

Despite her achievements for club and country, Earps looked genuinely surprised to be announced as the best female goalkeeper in the world, something only seemed to endear her more to the captivated audience in Paris and the rest watching from around the world.

“I really wouldn’t have worn this dress if I thought that was going to happen because [getting onto the stage] was really painful,” she joked as she approached the microphone, looking bewildered.

“I don’t really know what to say. Thank you to everyone who voted for me, I feel really honoured to be holding this really heavy trophy.

“I just want to say thank you so much to my loved ones, who have picked me up off the kitchen floor to be here today – not specifically tonight but a few years ago. Thank you so much to all of my teammates, without whom this wouldn’t be possible, the coaching staff at Man United and England, but particularly Ian Wilcock and Darren Ward, who I’m pretty sure deserved a trophy of their own for putting up with me every single day, because that isn’t easy.

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“Sarina, I run out of words to say thanks to you for the opportunity you’ve given me to chase my wildest dreams and for believing in me the way you have.

“This is for anyone who has ever been in a dark place, just know that there is light at the end of the tunnel – keep going. You can achieve anything that you set your mind to.

“Sometimes, success looks like collecting trophies, sometimes it’s just waking up and putting one step in front of the other. There is only one of you in the world and that’s more than good enough. Be, unapologetically, yourself.”

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